Northwestern a favorite for junior tackle

Northwestern does not hold traditional junior days, instead of bringing in small groups of players in at a time. That made a big impression on one 2014 recruit who visited this week.

Offensive tackle Brady Taylor (Columbus, Ohio/Bishop Ready) spent Wednesday and Thursday visiting the Wildcats, and Taylor, who holds three offers, said it was the “best experience I had so far.”

“They’d definitely be toward the top just because you get a Big Ten atmosphere while still getting an education,” Taylor said, “and that’s important for me because football doesn’t last forever. I want to be able to do something out of college that will benefit me. They would definitely be toward the top if they offer.”

Following his Wednesday arrival, the first part of Taylor’s visit was to meet with the academic advisors. Once he left that meeting, he sat down with Wildcats coach Pat Fitzgerald, who talked to Taylor about what the term student-athlete means at Northwestern.

Football was hardly touched on during their conversation, and Fitzgerald laid out what Taylor needs to do academically to earn a Northwestern offer.

“He told me I needed to get my GPA up a little bit and I’m right there and I’m definitely a kid they look to have in their program,” Taylor said. “They love my film. It’s definitely hard to get in there and getting a degree means you’ll be very successful after.”

Taylor liked that Fitzgerald was honest and to the point about earning a scholarship. Taylor said he did not sugarcoat anything, which he appreciated. He also said it was refreshing to hear Fitzgerald’s honesty as Taylor said “sometimes you can tell who’s blowing smoke.”

Indiana will host Taylor for a visit Saturday, and it will be his third time in Bloomington. He went for two games this past season. He was “blown away” on his first visit but was admittedly a little underwhelmed on visit No. 2.

He has a good feeling visit No. 3 will be his best to Indiana yet, though.

“They just want to get me in front of the head coach [Kevin Wilson] again to see if I gained weight because they’re waiting for me to fill out,” Taylor said. “I have a good feeling about [an offer].”

Bowling Green, Ohio and Toledo have all offered Taylor. Ohio is the latest to offer, and the scholarship from the Bobcats brought a smile to Taylor’s face. Ohio is already like a second home to him, he said, because both his parents were athletes for the Bobcats; his dad played football, and his mom was a volleyball player.

Taylor is also the latest Kentucky target from Ohio, and Michigan State wants to see him soon as well.

“I’m going to look at going down there because both are close drives,” Taylor said. “Kentucky has a whole new and think I’d fit in very well. They want to see me in person, same with Michigan State.”